Chapter Two Materials

Certainly the easiest, most fool-proof way to obtain the needed materials would be to make up a list and go to an appropriate supplier. Naturally, this is what we will do if possible. However, when the time comes to acquire our materials, there may not be any supplier. If this becomes the case, other sources must be located.

The body, or receiver, of the submachine gun is made from one and one-half (1.500) inch inside diameter tubing with a wall thickness of one-eighth inch. The finished length will be ten and one-half inches. Assuming that tubing is not commercially available, another source must be found. Boiler tubing or high pressure pipe is suitable for this. Drive shafts from some of the little foreign cars are also close to the proper size. Occasionally one will find an old steel bedstead (commonly refer ted to as an old iron) made from seemless tubing. If it \%ere absolutely necessary and nothing else was available, I personally would not hesitate to use gas or water pipe, but only as a last resort.

An eight inch section of nine millimeter (0.357 inches) barrel with an outside diameter of at least five-eighths inch will be needed. This we will obtain by buying a barrel blank from any of several suppliers. (One twenty-four inch barrel blank will make three barrels.)

If this is not possible, then the easiest way to make a suitable barrel is to obtain a discarded military rifle barrel of seven millimeters, .30, or eight millimeters, and ream the bore to size. Then you may cut new rifling as described in the chapter on barrel manufacture Failing this, will have to drill, ream, and rifle a section from quality steel rod. This must be good steel. An old iron bolt or rod will not last long enough to make the project worthwhile. Automobile axles and sometimes steering shafts (the shaft that the steering wheel is fastened to) are a good source of supply for this. Car and truck transmissions also contain shafts made from quality steel.

A section of quality steel, one and one-half (1.500) inches in diameter and three and one-balf (3.500) inches long is required to make a bolt or breech block. Here again, various truck or tractor axles are a source of supply, as are shafts from many farm implements.

In a great many cases, these substitute materials will be too hard to machine or work. This is no problem though, if firewood is available. Simply build up a good sized wood fire and place the material to be annealed (softened) in the middle. When the fire burns down, the material will be surrounded by hot coals and ashes and should be left to cool, preferably over night. It will then be soft enough to file, saw, or drill.

Another three inches of one and three-fourths (1.750) inch round stock will be needed for a breech plug and barrel bushing. This should also be of the highest quality steel available.

Two pieces of approximately one-eighth inch sheet steel, two inches wide and six inches long, will be necessary to fabricate a magazine well and trigger housing. This should be easy enough to come by. Angle iron or bed frame material is sometimes suitable for this. And while it is slightly thicker than necessary, enough material can be cut from an old automobile frame to satisfy our needs.

In addition to the materials mentioned, bits of steel in three-eighths inch and one-half Inch thickness will be needed for the trigger and sear, the magazine latch, and the stock release. Round stock can be used for the various pins, and if suitable coil springs can not be found, music wire can be wound to form the various springs.

Valves from gasoline and diesel engines are a source of quality round stock. Old farm tools and sometimes truck springs, or frame material, yield flat stock of sufficient thickness for triggers, sears, and some other parts. In most cases, these will require annealing (remember our wood fire?) before they can be worked.

There are many sources for the coil springs of the type we need. Many electric switches, carburetors, and fuel pumps contain such springs, as do locks, clocks, radios, old television sets, and many kitchen appliances.

If you look long enough, something will turn up that can be adapted or rebuilt into the part you need. As a matter of fact, a visit to the local automobile salvage yard should turn up sufficient materials for your needs since a junked car will contain all, or nearly all, of the required materials.

I suggest you carefully study the chapter on heat treatment, (Chapter Eleven) before you begin to gather your "junk."

The left side of a complefed gun. The magazine is surplus Sten clip. Ihe receiver is made from seamless lubing. Ihe trir and magazine well from old car frames, Ihe barrel blank was pun commercially. Ihe stock formed from a screw jack handle, the rear sight Irom 03A3. the Iront sight from 98 Mauser, and the breech block, breech plug, and barrel bushing from tractor axels.

Bill Holmes Ar15

Home Workshop Guns for Defense and Resistance: Volume One: The Submachine Gun by Bill Holmes

Copyright €> 1977 by Bill Holmes

ISBN 0-87364-085-3

Printed in the United States of America

Published by Paladin Press, a division of Paladin Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 1307, Boulder, Colorado 80306, USA. (303) 443-7250

Direct inquiries and/or orders to the above address.

PALADIN, PALADIN PRESS, and the "horse head" design are trademarks belonging to Paladin Enterprises and registered in United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.

Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book.

Photography by Ray Watson

Chapter Three


Since the receiver, or body of the gun, is the main section that all other parts and components are fastened to, it is only logical to begin by building it first.

Hold the ten and one-half (10.500) inch section of one and one-half (1.500) inch I.D. tubing and square the ends. This will be easier, and result in better quality, if it is done in the lathe. A bevel of thirty to forty-five degrees should be turned on the end that the barrel bushing will be welded into. The butt end, or the end farthest from the barrel, should be threaded in the lathe with a one and five-eighths (1.625) inch diameter by twenty-four threads per inch, to a depth of three-fourths inch.

A barrel bushing should now be made from round stock, one and three-fourths (1.750) inches in diameter by one inch long. Turn three-fourths inch of the length to a slip fit inside the receiver tubing, leaving a one-fourth inch wide shoulder. This shoulder should also be beveled thirty to forty-five degrees on the inner face. The bushing may be threaded and drilled either now or after it is welded in place. This can best be done by drilling a hole through the exact center of the bushing while it is,chucked in the lathe. A 37/64 inch drill is the proper size for this, followed by a five-eighths inch by eighteen tap. Better results are usually obtained by drilling first with a small drill, followed by the full sized drill.

Then phsh this plug into the receiver and weld it in place. This should fill the mated, beveled surfaces and build the weld up slightly above the surface, after which it#may be turned smooth and flush with the surface in the lathe. This can best be accomplished with an electric welder or an arc welder. The heli-arc process is preferable if it is available.

The next step is that of indicating three lines on the receiver. A center line should be located along the top of the receiver, followed by a line 180 degrees on the exact bottom side, and still another line on the right side, ninety degrees from both top and bottogn lines. This third line will be in a nine o'clock position when viewed from the front (barrel) end. These three lines may be located and marked easily by clamping a cutting tool with a sharp conical point ground on into the lathe tool post, exactly on center. The point should then be lightly fed against the work and drawn length-

wise along it, with the lathe carriage being cranked by hand. After that is completed, rotate the work ninety degrees clockwise and repeat the procedure. This will result in very straight and extremely accurate lines, especially if the head stock can be locked or held firmly in place while the carriage is moved along the work.

One inch rearward from the front face of the receiver (since the barrel bushing is now welded securely in place, its front face will be considered the front face of the receiver) will be the extreme front of both the

Nasogastric Tubing Procedure
The receiver body consists of tubing with a barrel bushing welded in the forward end.

THREAD 1.623 * 24







* 1/2" .J



I 1/2"


Rff.hlVifi OR BODY OP uUN.

be marked by rotating the tubing by hand against the sharp pointed lathe tool.

Layoul lines may be marked by rotating the tubing by hand against the sharp pointed lathe tool.

Longitudinal H„e, may be made by draw(ng . tharp pointed |oo| a|ong ,he ,eng(h ^ ^ ^^ ^

Smg Sten Bolt Line Drawing

Longitudinal H„e, may be made by draw(ng . tharp pointed |oo| a|ong ,he ,eng(h ^ ^ ^^ ^

Longitudinal Gun Magazine

ejection port and the magazine opening. On the right side center line, measure from this one inch point, another five and one-half inches to the rear. This will be the bottom outline of both the ejection port and the cocking lever slot.

Then, beginning one inch to the rear of the front receiver face and one-half inch to the right of the top center line, scribe a line one and one-half (1.500) inches long. This is the upper outline of the ejection port. Lines should be scribed at both the front and rear ends of this line, connecting it to the bottom line, thus forming acomplete outline of the ejection port... Another line should be scribed three-eighths inch above and parallel to the first line drawn (the bottom ejection port line extension to the rear) with a three-sixteenths radius at the rear.

An indentation made at the top (as shown in the drawing), forming a pocket for the cocking lever to latch into, will provide a simple and effective safety. This safety will be virtually fool-proof. To implement, you simply pull the cocking lever all the way to the rear and

A drill press and vise such as those pictured are handy for drilling holes. However, the same can be accomplished with a hand drill if you are careful in holding the drill at a right angle to the work.

THRUDfcD I.625wX 24 T.F.I.


DRILL WITH 37/641! DRILL THREiD 5/6mX 18 P.P.I.

DRILL WITH 37/641! DRILL THREiD 5/6mX 18 P.P.I.



The only way the gun could fire wllh Ihe cocking lever in Ihe safety nolch. as il Is pictured, would be If Ihe lever broke oil. The cocking lever is sturdy though, so il Isn't likely thai lhal would ever happen. Also nole Ihe ejection port and the slot tor Ihe cocking lever. They might nol be dirt-prool. bul Ihey are simple and lool-prool.

upward. Then, when the rearward pressure is relaxed, the mainspring (bolt spring) locks the lever by wedging it firmly in position. There is no way this safety will fail unless enough pressure is brought to bear to break off the cocking lever. The rest of the corners of this opening should have a one-eighth inch radius.

Another opening should be laid out beginning one inch rearward of the receiver face and centered over the bottom center line. If a Sten gun clip is used, this opening should be one and one-half inches long by seven-eighths inches wide (seven-sixteenths inches on each side of the center line). Other magazines may require slightly different dimensions. The corners of this opening should be cut square, without radius.

Another series of lines should now be scribed one-eighth inch inside the border lines already made. Make center punch marks at one-fourth inch intervals along these lines and drill a one-eighth inch hole through each punch mark. Substitute a one-fourth inch center drill for the one-eighth inch drill, and redrill all the holes to one-fourth inch. The unwanted inner portion of the openings should fall free, leaving only a little file work to finish.

The slot for the cocking lever is made in the same way, except that one-eighth inch holes are drilled one-fourth inch apart on the center line and redrilled with a three-eighths inch center drill forming a slot three-eighths inch wide and four inches long.

The reason center drills are used to redrill the holes is because they will not crawl or spread to the next hole as a regular twist drill might.

Center a sear opening over the bottom center line with the front of its three inches to the rear of the magazine opening. This opening should be three-eighths inch wide by three-fourths inch long and made in the same manner as the others.

A breech plug should be turned from one and three-fourths inch in diameter by one inch round stock. Reduce the diameter to one and five-eighths (1.625) inches on three-fourths inch of the length, leaving the remaining one-fourth inch the full diameter which should be knurled. The turned down portion is threaded twenty-four threads per inch (1.625 inches by 24) to screw into the rear of the receiver. This plug should be bored out inside, leaving approximately a three-six-teenths inch wall thickness, both to form a well for the recoil spring and to reduce weight.

A magazine well is formed either by bending one-eighth inch flat stock around a form of the same dimensions as the magazine or by welding strips together to form the front and both sides. The front must be ra-diused to fit the curve of the receiver, after which it should be positioned over the magazine opening and welded in place. Care must be observed to insure that the box remains in line with the opening.

The rear wall of the boxes is now made to the dimen-

sions shown in the drawing and welded in place. The inside of this magazine box should now be smoothed with files and emery cloth or stones until the clip may be inserted and removed with very little effort.

This.magazine box is left longer than necessary until the entire weapon is finished. At that time it will be trimmed by filing off the bottom until the clip seats itself far enough for cartridges to feed properly.

This photograph shows Ihe lop of the receiver, the trigger housing, and the removed clip. Note the position ol Ihe ejection port. The cocking lever is long and curved torward. to prevent accidental slippage. The grip is checkered walnut.

This photograph shows Ihe lop of the receiver, the trigger housing, and the removed clip. Note the position ol Ihe ejection port. The cocking lever is long and curved torward. to prevent accidental slippage. The grip is checkered walnut.

Homemade Submachine Gun


H- i 1/8- -H

Homemade Submachine Gun

I 5/4" DlAhfcTtH

I 5/4" DlAhfcTtH




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